Political Terror and the Technologies of Memory: Excuse, Sacrifice, Commodification, and Actuarial Moralities

Political Terror and the Technologies of Memory: Excuse, Sacrifice, Commodification, and... Page 58 REFLECTIONS AND REPORTS Political Terror and the Technologies of Memory: Excuse, Sacrifice, Commodification, and Actuarial Moralities Allen Feldman Violence and the Crisis of Memory I was driving with a republican ex-paramilitary, “Sean,” on a battlefield tour of Belfast. He was showing me the sites of INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) operations he had participated in or possessed logistical knowledge of in order to explain how urban guerrilla operations were planned and carried out. Sean discussed these issues with a mixture of professionalism and dry, ironic understatement characteristic of Belfast’s working class. We drove by a security checkpoint where, five years earlier, he had “given the message” to a policeman: shot him point-blank in the head and then made his escape or “runback” in a waiting car. As we sat contemplating the scene of past violence, he started recounting to me a complex series of altercations in his housing estate that had recently taken place between his wife and a local “hood” (a petty criminal) who had slapped Sean’s wife. Sean, aided by other “retired members” of various Republican paramilitary organizations, had retaliated with hurly (hockey) sticks that put the hood into the hospital. Sean was consulting http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Radical History Review Duke University Press

Political Terror and the Technologies of Memory: Excuse, Sacrifice, Commodification, and Actuarial Moralities

Radical History Review, Volume 2003 (85) – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by MARHO: The Radical Historians' Organization, Inc.
ISSN
0163-6545
eISSN
1534-1453
D.O.I.
10.1215/01636545-2003-85-58
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 58 REFLECTIONS AND REPORTS Political Terror and the Technologies of Memory: Excuse, Sacrifice, Commodification, and Actuarial Moralities Allen Feldman Violence and the Crisis of Memory I was driving with a republican ex-paramilitary, “Sean,” on a battlefield tour of Belfast. He was showing me the sites of INLA (Irish National Liberation Army) operations he had participated in or possessed logistical knowledge of in order to explain how urban guerrilla operations were planned and carried out. Sean discussed these issues with a mixture of professionalism and dry, ironic understatement characteristic of Belfast’s working class. We drove by a security checkpoint where, five years earlier, he had “given the message” to a policeman: shot him point-blank in the head and then made his escape or “runback” in a waiting car. As we sat contemplating the scene of past violence, he started recounting to me a complex series of altercations in his housing estate that had recently taken place between his wife and a local “hood” (a petty criminal) who had slapped Sean’s wife. Sean, aided by other “retired members” of various Republican paramilitary organizations, had retaliated with hurly (hockey) sticks that put the hood into the hospital. Sean was consulting

Journal

Radical History ReviewDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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